New 'gym mom' to a wonderful level 10 on this site

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Hi, my name is Kristen. My 17 year old daughter is a level 10 gymnast and on this site (bribri514) and she convinced me to join. I started shuttling her to gymnastics when she was 3 and she fell in love with it. By the time her little sister joined, she was on pre-team and started level 4 when she was 6. 2 years after her sister started she quit and decided dancing and figure skating were more her style. At this point in time I was a single mom living in a small mountain town in a county with no gym at all (there was a small intro gym at the rec center but no team) so I was shuttling her the 45 minutes to an hour to the closest gym as much as I could, while bringing her sister to ballet and figure skating lessons closer to home, all while trying to manage our school district's Deaf and Hard of Hearing program and work as an elementary and middle school special ed teacher. She's started middle school as a level 10, after being invited to TOPS national camp in 4th grade. She qualified for JO Nationals in grade 8 but unfortunately couldn't afford to go (the year before it was in our state, double the disappointment). After that the elite gym in our state invited her to join them and train to test elite but it would involve our family moving (a definite no) or letting her live with another family. I said no. I guess I didn't understand what a big deal elite was but at the same time, our family has already been through enough (the girls father passed away when they were 5 and 3) and my main priority has always been keeping us together. She tried high school gym for a year but had some coaching problems and switched to cheering where she made varsity captain. This season she's back in the gym (since she can drive herself) and competing as a level 10.

I may not be the perfect gym mom (I don't know if my daughter will ever truly forgive me for not being able to round up the cash to let her compete at JO Nationals or be able to move our family/let her move on her own 3-4 hours away so she could train with an elite program as she entered into high school) but I've still put in the hours as much as possible to be sure she can be at those after-school to long past dinner time practices all winter in the snow, trying to do grading and other paper work at weekend long meets shuttling her and other teammates across the state (and we live in a fairly big state), etc. etc. Gymnastics has helped make her the incredibly strong, successful girl she is today and I'm proud to watch her train for college gymnastics next year, even though the path got kind of rough for awhile.

Anyway, about me... like I mentioned I have a masters in Deaf/HoH education and work in our county's school district as the program coordinator, but since it's a rural district it's small, so I also am a special education teacher at the middle school. Before that I was a certified sign language interpreter. I also teach ski school during school breaks and weekends in the winter (we live in a ski town) and am a raft guide in the summer. I love the outdoors. I was born and raised in Quebec, so French is my first language. I have two daughters, Bri is 17 and Maddy is 15. My oldest son is 31 ( :dies: I feel so old, I was very young when he was born). I love my kids to death but still feel like I'm a teenager.

This site looks like a lot of fun. I've just gotten into checking my e-mail regularly but I can't wait to join in.


Proud Parent
Feb 21, 2009
Region 6
welcome! I am sure you have done the best you could for your family all the time. There are pros and cons to making that jump to elite and all the sacrifices it entails.
Feb 26, 2007
Hey Kristin, Welcome to the CB, you will find a lot of great parents here who would love to share with you and gain from your experience too.

I just have to say you have raised a great daughter, I have really enjoyed her presence on the CB. I have 3 kids of my own and I really appreciate what a great girl yours is.

I live in Quebec, just North of where your family are in a small town near Mont Tremblant.


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
Hi Kristin -welcome to CB. You have a wonderful daughter. Smart, well spoken, and very strong. I have enjoyed reading her posts. Parenting is hard enough without the guilt of not being able to give them all they want. You have done a great job.


awww everyone is too sweet! i'm so glad you joined.

<3 you mommy! :)


Welcome, coterpanguide (think I got that right! sorry if I misspelled!). I hope you find time to log in and join the fun when you can. You are a very busy, active lady! We will enjoy any and all input you have to give from your wealth of experience, and I hope you find support encouragement here as well.

As for bribri, what a wonderful young lady she is. You should be proud. I am a big fan of 'everything happens for a reason' and of trying to have no regrets (that last one is really hard for me, errgg!). Your daughter is right where she needs to be. Just becaase she didn't get to do 'a' and 'b' doesnt' mean you didn't have one HECK of a struggle helping her to do 'c'! I know I would have never been able to support a gymmie the way you have over the years, and in all the circumstances you've faced. So give yourself some credit and remember what you HAVE done for her! (Yikes driving all that way thru snow, all the hours, working to support your family--I am humbled).

Glad you are here. :rolleyes:


Hi Brianna's mom! Brianna is awesome, and I am so impressed and happy that she has had so many wonderful opportunities even though there were some hurdles to be overcome. But I know you were probably a major part of why she is so successful, so thank you and welcome to chalkbucket :)


Reading your story sounded just like my mom's. She gave me everything she could and I like to think I turned out pretty well. And you never know about that elite program.... maybe she would have gotten burnt out, quit, and ended up hating the sport.... who knows. So let's be positive. She's only the daughter she is now because of her past so you did an excellent job. After being through college and looking back on what I went through (I wrote a book about it) I learned to completely appreciate and understand all the hard work and sacrifices my mom and family made for me. If Bri doesn't realize it now, she will later and she will thank you for it.
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